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What is the best way for an amature (masters) racer to aclimatize for a two day climbing race at very high elevation?

The base elevation of the event is around 4500-5000' and it involves immediate and repeated climbs, both days going over 10'000' and repeatedly over 7000'.

I *could* budget enough time to spend just about a week at elevation just prior to the race. I've been training on my local climbs, but the highest elevation is just around 6k-6500 feet nearby and my home elevation is only 150'.

So what's said to be the most effective approach to an event like this, (end of Sept) the best plan to optimize performance for a racer coming from essentially sea level and racing above 5000' in the thin air?

Get there day before the race and just suffer? I did that last year and had some altitude sickness symptoms both days. I also climbed, during the race, with some guys who lived and trained in Truckee, Ca. at around 6000'...they had a distinct advantage, being more used to the altidude.

Should I go a week early and do my pre-race taper at high elevation, adapting as best I can? Is a week at elevation going to net me any improvment? What is the time study on how high elevation affects one's performance over the short haul? I know when I lived and raced out of Jackson, Wy. I had an advantage at elevation over the sea level guys..But now I am a sea level guy looking to go up and race in the Sierras.

Anybody care to opine? References? Reading and or studies available?

Thanks,
Don Hanson
 

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I hate to say it, but you're just going to have to be at a disadvantage. Get there the day of or the day before. It takes about 3 weeks to get acclimated. Trying to acclimate for 1-2 weeks usually just elicits negative physiological responses and fatigue that will make it harder for you during the race.
 

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kbiker3111 said:
Elevation tent?
Hypobaric chamber. See if a research facility near you has one & volunteer to be a test subject. Some universities have them in their Sports-Medicine programs. See if you can at least sleep in the chamber for a month before your race, then do your 1-week acclimation at altitude. I think it's a long-shot, but it couldn't hurt to ask.
 

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Have you considered EPO or one of its many highly effective derivatives ? Proven results with little effort.

In mountaineering one of the mantras is 'Train high, sleep low'. So go nuts the few weeks before your race training as high as you can while your body can recover faster at a lower altitude.
 

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Backwards mantra?

Rubber Lizard said:
In mountaineering one of the mantras is 'Train high, sleep low'. So go nuts the few weeks before your race training as high as you can while your body can recover faster at a lower altitude.
In cycling, it's just the opposite. Sleeping high means that your body adapts to altitude, and training low means that you can train much harder than if you were at altitude. I think your mountaineering mantra reflects MUCH higher altitudes, where altitude sickness becomes a common problem.
 

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Gnarly 928 said:
What is the best way for an amature (masters) racer to aclimatize for a two day climbing race at very high elevation?

Anybody care to opine? References? Reading and or studies available?

Thanks,
Don Hanson
Arnie Baker has some information in his book , "Smart Cycling"
 

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prepare to feel like crap... I did what sounds like a similar event. Took good form into the event. I arrived the day before, did a ride at 7000' and felt pretty good. When I hit 9000' in the race, I popped big time. Don't wear/watch a HR monitor as it will just psych you out...

I actually stayed for a week at altitude after the race and continued riding. Even after a week, I didn't feel normal when making god efforts.

btw, is the Everest?
 

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The normal wisdom is to either spend 2-3 weeks at altitude, or to arrive as close to the start of the race as possible. I normally do the latter as it takes the least amount of time from my life.

I don't think that spending only a week at altitude works. I just came back from Colorado where I spent the week before the Mt Evans race. I was real slow the whole week. Some of that may have been due to being tired from the Death Ride but most was from the altitude. I think I was a little better by the day of the race but I was still breathing harder than a lot of the other racers.

If you can do the 2-3 weeks at altitude before the race thing, then realize that you'll lose some of your peak fitness because you can't train as hard until you have acclimated. That may not make so much of a difference for a race like EC that's almost all endurance pace riding.
 

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Well,

I just got an e-mail forwarded from a guy selling a Hypoxico Altitude Training System. Randy is a friend of a friend, so I cannot vouch for him, but I can give you his e-mail if interested, just PM me. If you are flush with cash, it may be something to consider:
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I have a brand new Hypoxico Altitude Training Systems for sale. It normally lists for around $8500. I am selling it for $3,000. I can no longer find the time to use it and for whatever reason could not get used to sleeping with it on. If anyone is interested please email me. It is great for wearing while riding a wind-trainer, sleeping or just hanging out. I definitely derived a huge benefit from it for prior to my climbing trips. I was going to get Garrett using it but they recommend that you be over the age of 18. See below for details and let me know.



Randy


Hypoxico Altitude Training System comes with a universal mask kit which will allow you to use this system while sleeping, working out, and intermittent Hypoxic Therapy. This system is ideal for the elite athlete looking to boost performance or to maximize exposure to high altitude for purposes of pre-acclimatization. You can reach altitudes as high as 21,000ft/6400m. It has hardly ever been used and has hookup for dual masks so more than one person can use it at once. It is also portable.
 
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